Fri, Jun 01, 2012
Reverses Course On Earlier Opposition To The Institution
After calling it "little more than a fund for corporate welfare" during the 2008 Presidential campaign, President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import bank that raises its lending authority to $140 billion ... a 40 percent increase ... by 2014.
In signing the legislation, President Obama said the move would ensure that "we're not just known as a nation that consumes. We've got to be a nation that produces."
The debate over the legislation had organizations like GAMA anxiously watching to see what the outcome would be. In May, when the legislation passed the U.S. Senate with support from both sides of the aisle, GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce said “The Export-Import Bank’s continued lending authority is great news for thousands of general aviation manufacturing workers and businesses of all sizes. Reauthorization ends a period of great uncertainty for our industry’s manufacturers who have come to increasingly rely upon Export-Import Bank financing over the past several years.”
But the Republican National Committee used the business jet example to portray the President's move as a flip-flop. An RNC spokeswoman said Obama "must have forgotten" about his protrayal of bizjets as a symbol of corporate excess, as the legislation contains $1 billion for comporate jet builders. “Goes to show you it’s more rhetoric and less principle when Obama is on the stump,” the spokeswoman said in a statement releaesd to the media.
The Washtington Times reports that the move was hailed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. One of the major beneficiaries of the EXIM Bank's funding is Boeing. Loans offered by the bank can help foreign airlines finance their purchases of Boeing's jets.
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